A guy on a bench. When was the last time you found some bench? Life moves rather rapidly doesn’t it? Sometimes just getting a shower in feels like a challenge when you’ve got toddlers tugging at your pajamas! Spending time with my kids and grandchildren during the holidays reminded me of how valuable, yet rare a 20 minute nap was when I was a young parent.
I wish there was a way to slow society down. This fast pace is causing a myriad of problems across the grid. We may not be able to control the external world, but we do have some leverage when it comes to our personal lives and families. We can grab some bench, reflect and decide what matters.
A few months ago I had a minor health scare. Actually, it was a malfunction that occurred on a EKG test I was taking for a new life insurance policy. When I got the initial report that it registered an abnormality it rocked my world. I scheduled a follow-up test with my doctor. In the waning days, I grabbed some bench. It was an existential moment. I thought a lot about my current stage in life, where I wanted to go, lifestyle, eating habits, etc…
My outlook shifted. I could feel it internally. When I met with the doctor, he ran another EKG and the result was normal. We agreed I needed to lower my cholesterol, continue exercising, and modify my diet. My wife bought me a FitBit and I have been off n running on my new approach to health and fitness.
As you reflect on this year, what is 1 thing you would like to change going into 2016? Is there a pattern of thinking or behavior that really bothers you? A bad habit you promised yourself you would do something about but avoided?
[Tweet “The change you want has to happen on the inside before it will manifest on the outside”]
Here are 3 ways to change 1 thing in 2016
Grab some bench and reflect on it
Think really hard about how this problem is personally affecting you. Does it affect your mood? Your outlook? How about your self-esteem?
Think really hard about how this problem affects your relationships. Does it cause problems at home? Is it getting in the way of your performance at work? What do others reflect to you about this?
Grabbing some bench is a sports metaphor. Athletes are ordered by a coach to sit on the bench either to rest or because they are not performing to expectations on the court or playing field. You are the coach of your life. It is crucial that you give yourself some time on the bench to rest and reflect.
Look at the big picture and decide what matters to you
Do you want the bigger house and luxury car? These things come with hard work and sacrifice. Or do you value close relationships and simplicity? This counter-culture approach requires determination.
If the 1 thing you want to change interferes with the things that matter, you are more likely to be willing to work on it. Bad eating habits conflicted with my values about health and longevity. I knew I had to do something about it. I modified my diet. It wasn’t that big a deal. I feel much better and worry less about my health.
Get serious and act on it right away
I made my decision to change my eating habits before I met with my doctor. When the second EKG test came up negative, a thought floated through my mind, “You can go back to eating whatever you want!” That thought was immediately followed by, “This doesn’t change a thing. It is time to keep my health a priority!” I acted on the second thought and ignored the first.
If you want to change that 1 thing you have got to get serious! The change you want has to happen on the inside before it will manifest on the outside. You need to shift your attitude. Spending time on the bench reflecting will help. You may also confide in someone you trust and ask this person for feedback and support.
Once you get serious, act on it right away. Don’t give yourself time for excuse making. You will face some resistance (often procrastination) but you can fight through it. Force yourself to act. If it means talking to a professional, by all means do it. Act, act, act! Fight the resistance in your head and act.
Now it’s your turn
You may have more than 1 thing swirling in your mind right now. I suggest you find some bench. You need to narrow it down to 1 thing. Follow the 3 steps. Write me or comment below on what 1 thing you plan to change in 2016.